These 1-Minute Exercise Hacks Will Keep You Moving Throughout Your Workday


We all know by now that sitting for extended periods of time doesn’t do our health any favors. But for those of us who work the standard 9-to-5 desk job, what can we really do about it?

A lot, actually. Taking brief and regular breaks at work can actually improve your productivity and creativity significantly, according to research. FitBit activity trackers buzz at their owners once an hour, reminding them to get up and walk for at least 250 steps (approximately 2-3 minutes). So we’re taking a cue from them and giving you five different exercises you can do at your desk in just 60 seconds. They’ll help you mentally reset in the middle of your workday as well get you out of that chair and tone your entire body.

We recommend assigning one movement for each day of your workweek (as done below) to keep things fresh and alternate working different muscle groups. You’ll be surprised how much more active and better you feel by the time Friday afternoon rolls around.

Monday: Planks

Planks are the best ways to strengthen your core from every angle, and there are plenty of variations you can try if you don’t feel like doing the exact same move every hour. Hold a traditional plank, forearm plank, rocking plank or knee plank (if you need to work up to the full expression) for 60 seconds, or hold two side planks for 30 seconds each.

Tuesday: Squats

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Squats are another incredibly dynamic exercise that builds strength throughout your quadriceps, glutes and core. Hold a wall squat or complete standard bodyweight squats, plié squats, single leg squats or pulsing squats for 60 seconds, and feel free to alternate styles however you’d like each time the hour rolls around. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes at all times (proper form is a must here).

Wednesday: Triceps Dips

To set up for triceps dips, place your hands shoulder-width apart on your desk, chair (if stabilized), windowsill or filing cabinet. Distribute the majority of your weight to your hands and extend your legs out in front of you with only your feet resting the floor. Bend your elbows, activating your triceps, and then straighten them to return to the starting position. Repeat for 60 seconds. You’re definitely going to feel this one after a minimum of eight rounds throughout the workday.

Thursday: Stair Runs

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You might get a little sweaty on this day. When you hit the hour mark, take to any staircase in or near your office building and jog up and down for 60 seconds. It’s not much, but it’ll get your heart pumping and certainly chase away any brain fog that might have settled in at your desk. Modify by walking, and make it tougher by running. Just make sure you’re wearing acceptable shoes and not risking your safety.

Friday: Pushups

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We saved the best for last. Sculpt those arms in no time by repping through a variety of pushups during your final workday of the week. You can start off with your knees on the floor for support as you gain strength, but don’t be afraid to give full pushups, diamond pushups, wide pushups and downward dog pushups a try. Your arms will undoubtedly be aching after each minute of these babies.